What is expected with a Gastroscopy? What is it?

I had an appointment with my liver consultant last week. There was a bit on the bottom of the letter that said to be prepared for any admissions but I think that is just a standard thing on the letters.

On the day I didnt even get to see the consultant and was seen hurriedly by a registrar who had me out of the door before I could warm the seat.

Bloods and a urine test was taken and I expected to be told if there was anything to be followed up.

The post has just arrived this morning together with a letter to make a date for my Gastroscopy.

This is the first I have heard of this. Nothing was mentioned as such at the appointment.

I need to find out exactly what it is. I have had lots of procedures in the past. I dont know if its a repeat or a new thing. At the moment it feels as if I am a piece of meat on a conveyor belt. Like being asked to make an appointment in the same way as you may be asked to choose new wallpaper.

9 Replies

  • A Gastroscopy is a procedure where a narrow tube is inserted via your mouth, down your oesophagus and into your stomach. It is done in a Gastroscopy unit under sedation. You will either be given IV sedation and/or a spray to numb your throat. It is a short procedure and requires fasting. You can't drive home because of the sedation.

    If you can't remember being told you needed it check with your Consultant first and ask why it is being done? I had one to find the cause of my indigestion/heartburn.

  • Thanks. I am just not filled with glee about just being sent a letter for a procedure that hasnt even been discussed. There are a lot of new doctors starting at this time of year and I dont fancy just being a tick in someones workbook.

    I am on warfarin so any mistakes could be costly. It seems to have been dealt with incredibly haphazardly and makes me wonder just who is handling the case.

  • When you make your appointment make sure they know what medication you are on and if you should be taking it on the day or days before your procedure. I take omeprazole, (a stomach protecting tablet) and steroids, the steroids I was told to take, the omeprazole I had to stop as this masks any potential problems. You may be asked to stop your warfarin for example.

    I had auto-immune hepatitis, (which has now settled) and they wanted to confirm their diagnosis. I also had gall-stones which didn't help, so before they and the gall-bladder were removed they just wanted to be sure there was nothing else.

    It is a fairly unpleasant procedure, you lay on your left side and after they spray some local anaesthetic to the back of your throat, the tube goes down into your stomach. They sedate you so you are not really aware of what is going on and after it is all over you are left to rest for a couple of hours and given a drink and something like toast to eat. As long as you are not too drowsy or dizzy you can go home with a friend or family member.

    Preparing, having the procedure and recovering takes about 3 to 4 hours and you will not remember much about it. It is not painful and you have nothing to fear, it's just not very nice. If the department is normally busy you may find it is not a doctor who does it but a skilled nurse practitioner who is aided by other nurses and they will all look after you very well.

    It may be that a recent blood test has flagged up some liver function results that are out of range and the doctor is being cautious, although I agree he should have the good manners to keep you informed.

    I like to be aware of all that is happening to my body and my gp surgery have now got used to me asking for copies of blood results and outpatient letters. It is information about you and you are entitled to see it. I remember quoting something about a "Patient Charter" (although I'm not sure if that is still current), and I have never been refused. You may like to do the same, at least it would stop you guessing.

    Good Luck, you will be fine.

  • Hi

    Honestly if it was me I would demand to know why they want you to have this? Especially with the fact that you are on Warfarin as I think you need to stop this a couple of days before procedure.

    A gastroscopy is a exploratory procedure. It is a long thin flexible camera that goes down your throat into your stomach. You can choose to be conscious with a numbing spray or under general anaesthetic.

    If you didnt want to approach them your gp will know (they should have a joint computer system called System One - links hospitals and clinics for better patient care. Worked in a hospital for years).

    Usually when u are supposed to have a procedure you are usually seen 1-2 weeks prior for a pre-assessment. They usually want consent from you at this point. They will fully explain everything then.

    Gastroscopies are very reliable and I have known loads of people who have had them and been absolutely fine.

    I would just like an explanation before they did anything to me.

    Wish you all the best x

  • Totally agree with Bluebell the Patient Charter does exist x

  • morning, I had this done when I first became poorly (pre-lupus diagnosis) as I had lost the feeling to feel hungry and had bad heartburn. I had the numbing spray which tastes like banana when in your mouth but then becomes bitter once swallowing. it didn't stop my gag reflex so if I had to have this done again I would choose the general ana thingey.(that's just my choice though) they push a small amount of gas into your tum so they can see it clearly but you just burp it up later.

    wish you luck x

  • I thought the letter I received for the clinic appointment that did mention being aware of a possible procedure was just a standard letter. At the appointment the doctor asked me if I had had an ultrasound recently which I have had a few months back. He said he would contact the local hospital to chase it up. But as nothing else was discussed at the consultation I thought that the next thing would be getting a copy of my clinic results with any necessary with any necessary instructions (if needs be).

    I have not had my clinic notes yet, but receive an impersonal instruction to phone to make an appointment for a gastroscopy. It just feels a teeny weeny bit mismanaged.

    When I have had need for procedures at another hospital a nurse has usually rang me beforehand to advise of the need and then explained any appointments that may need booking or otherwise. I have also been provided with instructions over starting/stopping meds or any other info that was necessary.

    At the moment, and hopefully it changes, I feel I am being led by amateurs.

  • Just read something that suggested that PALs had been abolished. Maybe someone else will know if that is true. I hadnt attempted to use it but had thought it was there in the background.

    I rang the consultants secretary. Seems the consultant wants the registrar to address the situation but he is currently on holiday. So when he returns I should be supplied with some more information.

  • Someone from the hospital has just rang to say forget about the letter to request a gastroscopy

    Left hand, Right Hand..................... Confusion?????

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